Policy Analysis Unit

The Policy Analysis Unit offers comprehensive analyses of policy developments and the public discourse and develops strategic inputs based on the scientific expertise of MCC and in close coordination with its working groups. The unit’s main task is to strategically orient the interface between the institute, politics and society, as well as develop its content.


Head:Dr. Brigitte Knopf

Arwen Colell
Lena Dovidat

Task and approach

The MCC Policy Analysis Unit is centered on the idea that science must acknowledge the decision-making problem of politics – i.e. how to manage trade-offs between conflicting goals. One objective should always be: What do decision makers want to know? Meanwhile, the political and public debate should be proactively shaped based on scientific evidence, following the premise of what should decision makers know? Accordingly, the Policy Analysis Unit compiles scientific evidence based on the methods of research synthesis and processes scientific results to accommodate this specific target group. Formats offered for example include policy briefs or media commentaries.

The team also develops own analytical instruments and online tools to this end. It builds on and develops formats such as briefings or policy dialogues to understand policy processes and connect them to related scientific discourses. The goal is to anticipate public debates addressing “Climate, economics, and social justice” and proactively shape these debates based on scientific insights. These activities are underpinned by MCC’s concept of a deliberative democratic learning process wherein a multitude of societal groups discusses policy alternatives.


Recent projects include structured dialogue forums on topics such as the “Introduction of a carbon pricing scheme in Germany“, “Reform of the property tax in Germany”, or “Reform of the European Emissions Trading System”. The team is currently also contributing to the dialogue on climate economics. Knowledge transfer and exchange between researchers and policy makers is extended and intensified by purposefully communicating results of the program “Economics of Climate Change II” funded by federal research (BMBF).